Sunday, August 28, 2011

Melissa's Day

Melissa Flowers' funeral is today. I'm trying to decide what to bring for the family. Think I'm going to go by the store, then by my brother's for coffee. Hmmmm.... maybe coffee first then store, that will give me time to think about what to bring. I'll be posted throughout the day on events.


lainey412 said...

Funeral was beautiful! Lots of funny stories about Melissa told by her sister Val. Still sad though. The pastor told my story of how Melissa and I met first. The tears flowed again. Thank God for Angela Rivers, who sat next to me. She held onto me and held my hand throughout the whole service. I will post my story of how I met Melissa soon. She was a beautiful, beautiful, faithful woman that had the best character and attitude. She fought caner to the bitter end.

lainey412 said...

I met Melissa back in 2002 after my first chemotherapy treatment. I thought I was going to die I felt so bad. Everyone at Crooked River Elementary and Sugarmill Elementary kept telling me to "talk to Melissa, talk to Melissa. she went through this last year." I am a technology specialist with the school system and serviced both schools. Everyone was surprised that I didn't know her already.

I felt it inappropriate to just call a complete stranger, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I took out the post-it note with Melissa phone number scribbled on it and dialed the numbers. I loved her ever since.

I burst into tears as I described how the chemo left me feeling nauseated, weak, feverish, and just over all "poisoned." I told her I wanted to die. She was like, "Oh sweetheart." and her words were kind and sweet. We talked about our chemotherapy drugs, other drugs that make your red blood cells and white blood cells produce quicker because the Chemo kills them all. We talked about hair. I told her mine hadn't start to fall out yet. I told her I was looking for a good wig, but was kinda bummed out about losing my hair. She chuckled and let me know that it would be ok. She said she didn't do too good with wigs and that she fancied wearing a turban. She suggested I look at some; said they were cooler on the baldhead.

I sighed and replied, "Melissa, I'd look like Aunt Jemima if I put on a turban. I don't want people coming up to me asking for maple syrup."

All of you who know Melissa and her contagious, boisterous laugh, know that's what came next. She burst into laughter at that comment and I could not help but to laugh with her. My physical body still suffer from my symptoms, but she sure lifted my spiritual and mental side.

We were friends ever since. She placed me on every prayer list of everyone she knew all over the US. She quickly became my rock!

Months later Melissa moved into the neighborhood that she her family currently resides now. She lived around the corner from me and just down the street from Sharon Crews (another cancer survivor that was diagnosed a week before me). Sharon worked at Sugarmill, I used to work there, but still provided technology support there, and Melissa's children attended there and she began to sub there; eventually becoming a para-professional there. Because we three were unusually in close proximity to each other in work and in where we lived, she coined us, "Sistah's in the Hood."

I was always her "Sistah with a Tan."

Melissa also took the lead in organizing and becoming team captain for Sugarmill for Relay for Life. She did such a wonderful job. Her heart and soul was always into doing this. Her husband Patrick supported her yearly by donning a beautiful dress and elegant heels and sashayed around the track, stuffing bills down his bosom for the Cause.

Melissa Flowers was full of life and said I inspired her. But the truth of the matter is, she inspired ME!

It was very hard to see this strong woman not so strong in the end. But even in her last days she still joked around and made light of her ailments. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Missy's great and attentive friend Debbie Bailey.

Debbie stuck by Melissa to the bitter end. She kept me posted on every good day and every bad day. I was home in bed with a headache when I got the final text that Melissa was now in heaven. I got this text 30 minutes after Melissa went to be with her beloved Jesus.

I just want to thank Debbie Bailey for sticking with Melissa along with her family. Thank you for keeping me in the loop. You were an awesome friend to Melissa and that gave me comfort knowing that.

She will truly be missed!